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Welcome to Irish Music Stories, the show about traditional music and the much bigger stories behind it. IMS is about everything--through an Irish music lens.

Whether you already play the fiddle or you know nothing about trad music or dance, I hope you'll join me, Shannon Heaton, as I learn how a band of Boston tweens ended up at a big music competition in Sligo, and what it meant to their families... and as I dig into the darker, sweeter side of Irish humor... and as I explore what learning Irish songs together is really all about.

Meet thoughtful and incredibly charming people in pubs, kitchens, and backstages throughout the U.S., Ireland, and beyond, underscored with toe-tapping and heart-soaring melodies that seem familiar, even if you've never heard them before.

Jul 11, 2017

What’s up with Irish ‘backing’? How does accompaniment fit in the melodic Irish tradition, and how does it feel to invent chords for Irish tunes and songs? Accompanists Matt Heaton, Neil Pearlman, Keith Murphy, and John Doyle talk about share their thoughts on culture, conversation, and the role that guitar, bouzouki, piano, and harp (and flow state) play in Irish music.

There’s plenty of music here, too. Credits below.

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Special thanks to Patrick O’Leary, Art Costa, Paul Willson, and the Massachusetts Cultural Council for supporting this episode. And thank you to Matt Heaton for script editing and production music.

Please CLICK HERE if you can kick in to support this podcast!

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Visit IrishMusicStories.org


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Music Heard on IMS Episode 06
all music traditional, unless otherwise indicated

Song: “Lily of the West,” from Lovers’ Well
Artist: Matt & Shannon Heaton (this track with Keith Murphy)

Tune: “Mist Covered Mountain and Tell Her I Am,” from Dearga
Artist: Matt & Shannon Heaton

Tune: “Run to Fly,” from Run to Fly
Artist: Alba’s Edge (feat. Neil Pearlman)

Tune: “The Phoenix,” from January EP
Artist: Assembly (feat. Keith Murphy)

Song: “Buonaparte,” from Bound for Canaan
Artist: Keith Murphy

Tune: “The Rock Reel Set,” from Lake Effect
Artist: Liz Carroll with John Doyle

Tune: “Johnny Going to Ceilidh,” from Demo
Artist: Matt Heaton, Flynn Cohen